Oregon workforce in 2020: retirements outpace new growth, educational needs increase
Author: by Molly Young, The Oregonian
Posted: June 26, 2013
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portland state graduation.JPG
Portland State University graduates file to their seats during a 2012 ceremony in the Park Blocks. (Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian)
Baby-boomer retirements will leave open more jobs in Oregon than new growth this decade, according to a new study from Georgetown University.

The state is on track to open up 694,000 jobs by 2020 as more and more baby boomers retire. An estimated 70 percent of those positions will require advanced education, a share 5 points higher than the national average.

The university's Center on Education and the Workforce released the state by state projections Wednesday, showing the U.S. is on track to create 55 million job openings by 2020.

Researchers there expect Oregon's workforce to expand 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, from 1.8 million to 2.1 million jobs. Most of the openings, though, will come as baby boomers leave the workforce. An estimated 395,000 are expected to retire this decade in Oregon.

The state's fastest-growing occupations, in healthcare and the social sciences, will largely require postsecondary training. In fact, both Oregon and Washington rank among high among states -- Nos. 10 and 11 -- for the share of jobs (70 percent) that will need advanced education.

That's a tall bill for Oregon. The state set a goal of getting 80 percent of young adults into college -- and out with a credential, half from a four-year school and half from a community college or training program. But nearly 40 percent of the state's Class of 2011 didn't enroll in college.

Just 214,000 of the expected openings will take only a high school diploma or less, according to the study.